Thursday, April 18, 2024

If Netherlands Don’t Call Me, I Will Play For Nigeria – In-Form Bologna Forward Joshua Zirkzee Declares

In-form Bologna forward, Joshua Zirkzee is a hot commodity in Europe at the moment with top clubs jostling for his signature, and so has a decision to make.

Same decision awaits at International level, as he is eligible to represent Netherlands and Nigeria. In a recent interview that has sparked discussions, the forward declared he will choose Nigeria only if Netherland aren’t calling.

Joshua Zirkzee said: “It’s not easy to say. If the Netherlands aren’t calling, then I’ll choose Nigeria. Are they even calling? Maybe. Nigeria is not a country that you just choose because you cannot play for your homeland.

” The competition there for attackers is perhaps just as great as in the Dutch team. Nigeria has Boniface from Leverkusen and Osimhen from Napoli. And they have many more attackers,” the 22-year-old added.

A brief yet decorated club career has seen Joshua Zirkzee win the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, DFB Pokal, and the DFL Super Cup.

Zirkzee, aged 22, rose to prominence in the German Bundesliga during the 2019/2020 season with Bayern Munich, where he achieved the treble under the guidance of Hansi Flick. Since then, he has been loaned out to Parma and Anderlecht before securing a permanent transfer to Bologna in the summer of 2022.

His stellar form this season has sparked discussions about his potential inclusion in Ronald Koeman’s squad for the Euro 2024 tournament in Germany. Zirkzee has been a standout performer for Bologna, contributing nine goals and four assists.

Born on May 22, 2001, Zirkzee has a Nigerian mother and a Dutch father. Although he has represented the Netherlands from the U-15 to the U-21 level, he is yet to make an appearance for the senior team.

Zirkzee has expressed his preference for the Dutch national team, stating that playing in the Euro 2024 tournament with Ronald Koeman’s squad would fulfill a lifelong dream.

My dream has always been the Dutch national team. However, the European Championships is not necessarily a crossroad. If that doesn’t happen then, I’ll look further. I’d be grateful if it did happen and if not, I have to make sure they call me. You hope to be there one day,” the former Bayern Munich man said.

As Bologna currently sits in 4th place in the Italian Serie A table, Zirkzee and his teammates are focused on securing a spot in next season’s UEFA Champions League, with only two points separating them from 5th-placed Atalanta.

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